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==The Parsis appear (c.800-900): As Iran becomes Muslim, many followers of the ancient Persian Zoroastrian faith (*sacred texts*) come to feel unwelcome in their homeland, and migrate to India. These "Parsis," named for the region of Fars in Iran, settle on the west coast, especially in Gujarat, and build what is still a thriving community in Bombay. The woman in the picture stands before the wall of a Bombay fire-temple that shows reproductions of the court of Darius the Great in Persepolis. Images: *Sue Darlow*. The *Imperial Gazetteer* gives its own account of the Parsis' history. And there's the *Qissa-e Sanjan* too.
==The Palas patronize Buddhism (c.750-1150): Ruling in the northeast, the Pala dynasty becomes prosperous and sophisticated. Its kings patronize Buddhism, including the universities at Nalanda and Vikramashila. With the Palas' later decline, Buddhism begins to die out in India; it is also threatened by the rise of the bhakti movement and occasional raids on monasteries by early Muslim rulers. Pala Hindu and Buddhist sculpture: *IGNCA*.
==The Rajputs make their presence felt (c.800 onwards): Kingdoms controlled by Rajput rise in Central India and Rajasthan. Rajputs claim descent from kshatriya, or warrior-caste, lineages, and also from the Sun or Moon; many scholars think they were originally of Central Asian stock. They cherish their martial ethic, and fight with each other if nobody else is available. The *Imperial Gazetteer* has a good deal of information about their clans and traditions.
==The Muslim world expands: By 900, two and a half centuries after the Muslim world begins to expand from its Arabian heartland, it has come to include territory all along North Africa and into Spain in the west, and right up to the Indus River in the east. And of course the sea trade along the Malabar and Coromandel coasts is as active as ever.
==Bilhana (c.800900): The later Chalukyas patronize the Kashmiri (*kousa*) poet Bilhana, author of several well-known Sanskrit works including the "Chaurapanchashika" (Fifty Stanzas of a Thief), which describe a lowborn lover's clandestine trysts with a princess, and his exulting in the memory even on the eve of his execution for the crime. Here is an early (c.1920) and free translation of the text by *Edward Powys Mathers*.

 
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